Paul Barrett

Paul Barrett

Paul is larger and louder than life! Paul is quiet, humble and caring.
He is a friend, a community builder, a shoulder for support, a teacher, a creative genius. He is so many different things, to so many people.
Whoever Paul is to you come and celebrate the life that gave so much
to each of us individually and all of us as a community.
Join us all Saturday 4thFebruary
at Cabarita Beach Hotel at 10.30am
where we will share Paul’s stories, his passions, his gifts of love and music.
Come, join his family and all his friends to
Drum It Up’ for Paul.
This is a call out to all those amazing people from The Samba Blisstas & Freo Samba & Curry Boyz – all Pauls creations/collaborations over the years. I would love group photos, photos of Paul jumping and his larger than life Paul Barrett !!!  Please pick the two you treasure the most, with the year they were taken and email them to us at [email protected] 
 You will be able to view the photo slideshows here, once they are created.

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16 replies
  1. Sheena
    Sheena says:

    I attended some of Paul’s Samba drumming classes at Tugun, and am really saddened to hear of his passing. Paul’s passion for sharing the gift of music and creating vibrant musical events was mesmerising to watch and his energy and enthusiasm were highly contagious. I hope someone is waiting in the wings to keep Paul’s amazing legacy going into the future. The world needs more Samba musicians and teachers of the calibre of Paul Barrett!

  2. Liz O'Sullivan
    Liz O'Sullivan says:

    I first met Paul when he came to Coffs Harbour to help celebrate Harmony Day a few years ago. He ran drumming workshops for two days, which culminated in a great presentation to the people of Coffs Harbour at the Coffs Jetty High School. I was privileged to be part of the percussion section, wearing the traditional colour red ! Paul also gave more meaning to life to my stepdaughter Belinda, who was part of the north-coast drumming group near Byron Bay. They became very close friends, and I’m sure she and thousands of others who have been touched by his energy and zest for life will be mourning his passing. Olivia Newton John employed the service of his entertainment team at one of her birthday celebrations. She also recognised his great talent. Keep on drumming Paul. You will always be remembered ! Liz O’Sullivan xx

  3. Chania
    Chania says:

    Bye Paul,
    May you rest in peace dear friend. We had some good times and as a group of friends saw each other through great and difficult times. May you keep the drumming happening wherever you are and see you again. I loved your sense of humour and your creativity. You brought amazing times for many people through drumming including myself and may your legacy and contribution live on. Many prayers and blessings to your family and to you. Love you always. Safari Njema. Good journey onwards. Lots of Love Chania xxx

  4. Belinda Schaeffer "Bird"
    Belinda Schaeffer "Bird" says:

    Thank you for doing what you loved.
    You brought happiness and the inner child out of any audience.
    Your passion for performing and creativity will be dearly missed.
    I will miss your funny facial expressions, Thunderbird impersonations and your drum lingo.
    Bada bada ba, Dec dada da which I was just getting to understand.
    Next time I’m playing a drum or listening to MSO I’ll be thinking of you.
    Your at peace now, sit and and watch the concert in full Red that will capture everyone’s smile and tears to beat our drums in honour of you.
    Thank you for bringing a community together, teaching us listen to our hearts and bodies through beats of a dum. It felt like one big hug of happiness you delivered.
    I will miss your big belly laughs and contagious smile and energy.
    Bye Bongos lots of luv Bird
    It has been an honour to share your adventures of Samba Blissta in this world.
    And as Dr Seuss say’s
    “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”.

  5. Donna Hawkins
    Donna Hawkins says:

    I was so shocked and saddened to learn of Paul’s passing. My times with the Samba Blisstas were some of the happiest of my life. I joined because I was battling severe depression and needed to do something that made me smile. I have some wonderful photos, unfortunately I can’t access them right now because my computer needs repair. I found the drum hard on my back and so Paul gave me the job of playing the go/go bell. I was so grateful that he kept me involved. The only image I could find was one I used in an art project…a set of cards about depression…what people tell you, and what the reality is. I would love to come to honour Paul, unfortunately I’m having chemo at the moment and not well enough. I will be there in spirit.
    Donna Hawkins

  6. Vivienne Norris
    Vivienne Norris says:

    You will always stay in my heart, especially when I hear a drum play.
    As you once wrote on a present you gave me. ” You were family”.
    The world will not be the same without Paul.
    But we must keep his legacy going.
    Deepest sympathy to Bettina and family.
    Vivienne Norris

  7. Milinda Rodziewicz
    Milinda Rodziewicz says:

    Thank You Paul,

    Thanks to Paul and what he created through the Samba Blisstas I underwent a personal transformation that resulted in real life experiences that I previously believed could only ever be the stuff of dreams!
    Under his leadership, progress was valued above perfection. Permission to make mistakes, permission to have a go, to explore, experiement and “at the end of the day have fun” were all part of Pauls progressive formulae to get the best out of us!
    I don’t think I could ever adequately express the depth of my gratitude for him but, I like to think that Paul is in a place right now of infinite knowing, a place where he is acutely aware of just how significant his life was on so many levels, to so many people. That he can feel peace in knowing how deep and wide his presence positively impacted lives.
    Pauls life was significant, it had meaning and purpose and all those who were moved by him can attest to that.
    His heart, soul and Rhythm will continue to live on in all those who have been inspired by him.
    I will be eternally grateful for his presence in my life.
    Thank You Paul

  8. Janine
    Janine says:

    What a shock Paul. My heart feels such sadness. ??You will be so sorely missed for all the joy, energy, love , laughter, fun and music you brought to the world and especially our little piece of paradise. I will miss your beaming smile and incredible positive energy that radiated from you wherever you went. Thank you for the music, culture, fun and laughter. For your expertise and the generosity with which you shared your craft, your gift. You are irreplaceable and the hole your passing will leave in the community will never be filled. ? May you share your music in the other realm and may we someday drum together again.

  9. Steve
    Steve says:

    Hey Paul. Mate I’m upset with you. Only 5 years of friendship and I was only finding out about the really good goss. Miss seeing you around the place, miss the laughter, miss the coffees, miss the Sunday beers and darts. Take care my Adelaide friend. See you in 20 years time ( hopefully your dart game has improved by then ). AND THE BEAT GOES ON

  10. Tanja Greulich
    Tanja Greulich says:

    You were such an inspiration to so many people. Your belief that “everyone has rhythm” was so genuine. People loved watching the spectacle of the Blisstas. I loved performing with you & The Samba Blisstas, it was such a great time in my life! I am so sad to lose you as a friend & a local icon. You will forever stay in my heart as a truely amazing individual.
    As you always use to say; Bongos to that!
    Love & hugs & a huge thank you for bringing drumming into my life.

  11. Barbara Balkwill
    Barbara Balkwill says:

    A short msg from the Stanthorpe Blisstas. It was an incredible privilege to have known Paul and he enjoyed his time with us on the Granite Belt. Paul inspired so many people with his incredible enthusiasm and kindness. We will miss you Paul but the beat of your drum will stay with us. Paul, the incredible soul that you are, I am sure it will be all “bongos” wherever you are.

  12. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Thankyou for the fabulous sounds, colours, memories, friendships and moves you shared with us over the years up here on the North Coast, Paul. From the first time we heard and saw you in the early 2000’s many of us just had to join up and spend many hours hot, sweaty and totally captivated and focused on getting ready for the next carnivale fun and dressups! Those Samba beats you instilled in us will live on forever. So many great times 🙂

  13. Gavin Gibson
    Gavin Gibson says:

    Paul I’m still trying to get my head around your leaving the party so soon. Three years sitting next to you at High school. Those crazy drama lessons and productions and playing trumpet in the Adelaide Town Hall. Weekends skiing on the river or surfing the south coast. Our motorbike trip to Darwin ( how naive were we ). Our road trip to Perth with the hang glider and a thousand other antics that we shared as we struggled from boy to man . I finally convinced you to get a drum kit and suddenly we’re jammin. You were thinking of returning ? We were going to ramp it up and take it to the street ! You supposed to have a gig at WOMAD this year and take my bike for a spin.
    Sadly bro it will have to go on the back burner until I can catch up with you.
    missing you heaps mate
    Gavin Gibson

  14. Shelley
    Shelley says:

    In watching this short video, I reflected on how many people’s lives you touched, brought light to and inspired. Tens of thousands perhaps. Whether through teaching, performing, sharing or supporting, you, and your work will remain forever an amazing gift. Your passing remains today and no doubt forever, one of those events in life where you continue to say – ” did that really happen?”. Helping you with your plans for the future was a privilege and I am saddened that you are not here to see them come to fruition. The Blissta’s will live on and continue to bring joy, hope and fun to all. You were an incredibly generous soul, one huge bright spark and a truly great man. May your family be uplifted by the memory of the joy you gave to so many.

  15. Kate Steel
    Kate Steel says:

    Thankyou Paul, for giving so much….
    all the important things… and Dress ups!!! I love the dress ups
    May the drums go on

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